Premier Daniel Andrews fronted the media on Thursday evening to announce his state would be going into its fifth lockdown to prevent community spread of COVID-19.
Victorians will face another five days of lockdown from midnight Thursday 15 July.
Andrews said it was prudent to announce a lockdown now, to prevent the more virulent Delta strain from spreading.
“We know that not much good comes from waiting. Waiting could see more people infected and the number of exposure sites explode,” Andrews said in a statement.
“If we act now – while we’re right on the heels of this outbreak – we can give ourselves every chance of getting ahead of it.”
I hate to sound like a broken record.
But please, check the exposure site list.
And isolate if you need to.
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) July 13, 2021
The decision comes amid fears by public health officials that the COVID-19 Delta variant has seeded in the community after a positive case attended an AFL match between Carlton and Geelong at the MCG. That man lived in an apartment complex which was visited by interstate removalists who transmitted the virus. Two of the three removalists, who were positive cases, did not wear masks.
Members of the public who attended a café named Young and Jackson that the football-goer visited before the game on Saturday have been urged to come forward for testing and self isolate.
The latest data released by the Victorian department of health shows that all of the 10 locally acquired cases recorded were linked to current outbreaks.
Reported yesterday: 10 new local cases and 1 new case acquired overseas (currently in HQ).
– 17,188 vaccine doses were administered
– 33,129 test results were received
More later: https://t.co/lIUrl1hf3W#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData [1/2] pic.twitter.com/UgjjA8fAzV
— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) July 15, 2021
The new restrictions will mean that Victorians can only leave home to get essential food and supplies. Exercise is permitted for up to two hours and people will be unable to travel more than 5 kilometres from their homes.
The five reasons to go outside are:
- Shopping for necessary goods and services.
- Care and caregiving.
- Exercise for up to two hours.
- Authorised work and education.
- To get a COVID-19 vaccination.
Face masks will also be required to be worn indoors and outdoors by those aged 12 and over when it is not possible to physically distance. This rule does not apply inside the home.
“We know that wearing face masks can keep us safe and stop the spread. So please, follow the rules and wear a face mask at all times,” Andrews said.
Tighter travel restrictions have been imposed on Victorians travelling to other states, and people returning back into Victoria with a red zone permit are being directed to go straight home and quarantine for 14 days. Travellers will only be permitted to leave their home to get a test.
“We must be clear. Quarantining means staying at home. We are counting on everyone to do the right thing,” Andrews said.
“For our families, our businesses and our state – stay at home and keep everyone safe.”
People who need assistance getting food and supplies while in at-home quarantine can call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 for support.